Monthly Archives: January 2017

Katie Duncan


PYSK-Katie-DuncanFamily YMCA of Greater Augusta Marketing Vice President 

Number of years in position: 2 years

Family: Mother and stepfather, Dianna and Walt James; stepmother and late father, Janice and Frank Simmons; two cats, Jackson and Stella. 

Why I’m Passionate About What I Do: I am passionate about people, my community, marketing and fitness. The Y is a dream job for me as I can combine many of my passions, interests and hobbies into my career and day-to-day life. I love that the Y is a place that warms your heart from the inside out, and I love getting to creatively share that message with our community.

Community Groups and Charities I Love to Support: We have so many nonprofits with great causes in the area, and I love any initiative that involves several groups working together for a common good. The Family YMCA of Greater Augusta is especially important to me. It is a wonderful organization where we help kids learn to swim or help a teenage mom find childcare to stay in school. We provide a safe afterschool location, a place for kids that may not have other options to eat during the summer, a gathering space for teenagers and young adults, adaptive programs and opportunities for all abilities, a place to get healthy and a gathering place for seniors.

Biggest Career or Life Obstacle I’ve Overcome and How: The biggest obstacle I have overcome is taking a step back and realizing I was not happy or fulfilled in the job I had at the time in the for-profit world and needed to make a move back to nonprofit. I was not on the path I wanted to be on and did not align with where I saw my future going. It is hard to take a step back and admit to yourself you are not headed in the direction you want to be and work on realigning your life in the right direction. 

Accomplishment I’m Most Proud Of: Graduating with my M.B.A. from Augusta State University

Favorite Way to Spend Saturday Afternoon: I am usually marathon training Saturdays, so most of my afternoons are spent in run recovery with a good book. And when I am not doing that, I’m kayaking, exploring Augusta and the rest of the world.

Favorite TV Show: “This is Us”

Favorite Movie: Love Actually 

Favorite Sports Team: Mercer Bears

Favorite Comfort Food: Lemon French Macarons and McDonald’s French Fries

Favorite App: Well most used, Amazon Music

Last Book Read: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Dream Vacation: I want to go everywhere and anywhere, but right now Italy. My dad passed away last May and told me to take a trip in his memory. Italy was the first place that came to mind and has stuck ever since. I hope to make it a reality in the next year or two.

Something That Has Changed My Life: I unexpectedly lost my father last year, and that has changed my every day and my normal life. It has made me appreciate life and the people in it on a deeper level.

Best Thing I Ever Learned: There is a work-life balance. For everyone’s sanity, make sure you make time for yourself and your family. 

Favorite Hobbies: Running, traveling, reading

Secret Aspiration: Become a college professor and complete a Half Ironman competition.

Reality Show I Would Totally Win: “The Amazing Race” 

Something People Would Be Surprised to Know About Me: While I love fitness, I also love a rare filet.

Special Delivery


Auggie-Valentine-1Hopeless romantics who like to think outside the “batter’s” box can surprise their significant others with a visit from Auggie, the GreenJackets mascot, for Valentine’s Day.

Diamonds might be a girl’s best friend, but creative people can shower their significant others with affection in alternative ways. Anyone who wants to hit a homerun with his special someone can order an Auggie Gram for Valentine’s Day.

Auggie is the mascot for the Augusta GreenJackets baseball team, and he personally will deliver gift packages to people at their homes or businesses on February 10, 13 or 14.

The package, which costs $60, covers all the bases. It includes a flex pack of six undated vouchers for GreenJackets tickets; two tickets to Opening Night on Thursday, April 13; two cupcakes from A Piece of Cake; a Chublet, aka a small stuffed animal; and a red rose from Garden Cottage Florist. 

“When people see Auggie, they get a big smile on their face,” says Tom Denlinger, the GreenJackets general manager. “It’s the fun element of surprise that I think fans throughout the CSRA love with this package.”

Auggie delivers within 20 miles of Lake Olmstead Stadium, and packages must be ordered by Wednesday, February 8. To reserve an Auggie Gram, contact the GreenJackets front office at (706) 922-WINS (9467) or email

Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Tart

  • Dark-Chocolate-&-Hazelnut-Tart6 ounces dark chocolate (60-70% cacao), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • One 9 or 10-inch prebaked tart shell
  • Hazelnuts for garnish

In a medium bowl, combine dark chocolate and honey. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour over chocolate and stir with a spatula until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add butter and vanilla extract and stir until butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour almost all into prepared tart shell. Top with hazelnuts and drizzle with remaining chocolate. Chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours to allow filling to set. Serve at room temperature.

Happy Place

In The Home

Photography by Haley Lamb

An Evans couple finds their bliss in their new Riverwood Plantation dream home. 

When Chris and Chip Huffman of Riverwood Plantation decided to build a new home, they didn’t have any troubling settling on a neighborhood. In fact, they liked the one where they lived just fine. The Huffmans, who have lived in Riverwood Plantation for nine years, built their new house one street over from their former home. “This is a great neighborhood. We love it,” says Chris. “It is super friendly, and we have a lot of close friends who are our neighbors.” 

They looked at several lots in Riverwood when they decided to build. However, says Chris, “This lot chose us. It’s wide and deep.”

The Huffmans moved into their home in the summer of 2016. Chris, the sales and marketing manager for Meybohm Realtors and Winchester Homebuilders, put her new construction experience to work and designed the home herself.

“Our three children are grown, so I designed the house for us,” she says. “Everything we need is on the first floor. I wanted to have a place to hang out with our family and friends.”

HOME-Foyer-Hungarian-Settle-BenchFamily Mementoes
Double doors with glass panes beckon visitors into the main hallway. Just inside, a Hungarian settle bench, which includes storage space, lines one wall in the hallway. Chris found the bench at an Atlanta antique market and haggled for the price she wanted. “I negotiate for a living,” she says.

Mementoes that span generations sit on top of a chest on the opposite wall. A pair of round, gold wire-rimmed glasses that belonged to their son when he was a boy lie next to a French grammar book, French Reference Grammar and Review Composition. The book was written by Chris’ great-grandfather, Paul Linaberry, who was a French professor at Harvard University.

Another piece of family history – a typed note from President Ronald and Nancy Reagan – is framed on a nearby shiplap wall. The note was sent in response to an invitation to the Huffmans’ 1984 wedding that Chris’ father sent to the president just for fun. No, the Reagans did not attend, but in the note, they congratulated Chris and Chip on their marriage.

Five-inch oak flooring leads into the master bedroom, where Chris and her daughter, Courtney, gave the furniture a new coat of environmentally friendly chalk paint to give it a vintage finish.

“I thought about replacing the furniture, but it’s really good, solid, heavy furniture. The paint job was going to be temporary, but it has grown on me,” says Chris.

The adjoining master bath features tile flooring, granite countertops, a stand-alone tub, two sinks, a walk-in shower with a pebble stone floor and polished chrome fixtures. “I love the clean look of chrome,” says Chris.

The Huffmans also have custom built-ins in their closet, and a stackable washer and dryer in a nook off the master bedroom.

HOME-Kitchen-1Guiding Lights
While Chris might have surprised herself by deciding to keep the chalk paint on the bedroom furniture, she had definite ideas about some of the features she wanted in the house. For instance, when she first saw the lantern light fixtures that now are above the island in the kitchen, she knew she had to have them. They were the first purchase she made for their new home. “It all started with those lights,” she says.

The kitchen also features brushed marble countertops, glass cabinet doors, a subway tile backsplash, black stainless appliances, a convection oven with a microwave and a granite composite sink that is easy to clean. The hood above the stove has an aged, rustic finish.

“I like rustic, but I didn’t want everything to be overly rustic,” says Chris.

The island includes shelving on one end and storage space, and swivel stools are tucked underneath one side. Chris also decided to put drawers underneath the countertops instead of more cabinets. “A girl can never have too many cabinets, but I hate sticking my head all the way in a cabinet,” she says.

The laundry room and walk-in pantry are located off the kitchen. The pantry features a barn door that is as functional as it is attractive because, Chris says, “It doesn’t take up space.”

Chris also wanted an open floorplan for entertaining, and the kitchen, which flows into the dining area and family room, is the perfect gathering spot for family and friends.

HOME-Family-Room-2The dining area features a vaulted ceiling, which lends an open, airy feeling to the space. A dough bowl hangs on one wall, and the Huffmans have framed menus from some of their favorite restaurants across the country on the opposite wall. “We started collecting menus from places where we like to eat when we’re out of town,” Chris says.

The family room has a vaulted ceiling as well. The room also features leather furniture, a drop leaf French table, a TV above the tumble brick fireplace, a ceiling fan, round tables and a coffee table with storage space.

“I built the kitchen and family room for me, and the porch for Chip,” says Chris. “I wanted plenty of room to hang out. This is where we gather without being crowded. I want people to come here and feel at home. I’m not formal at all.”

HOME-Covered-Porch-2Coming Together
Chip, a sales representative for C&M Equipment in Watkinsville, enjoys as much of his spare time as he can on the back porch. “I’m a huge sports guy,” he says. “I love to sit outside watching football and anything else that might be on.”

The covered porch includes a TV, a raised hearth gas fireplace, a wine rack against one wall, a ceiling fan and wicker furnishings. Tables on the porch feature slate inlays, and the tongue and groove pine ceiling adds texture to the space. Rock salt that was poured onto the concrete floor give it a textured look, and tumble brick surrounds the flooring. Tumble brick steps lead to the patio as well.

The Huffmans also enjoy the gas tumble brick fire pit in the backyard. “We like to sit by the fire pit with a glass of wine,” says Chris. They like to make s’mores on the fire pit as well.

While Chris and Chip each have their own personal space, she admits that, when the house was under construction, she didn’t always heed the foolproof advice she gives to her customers. “My biggest challenge was that the builder didn’t give me a budget,” she says. “Everything I tell my buyers not to do, I did.”

She didn’t totally abandon her expertise during the building process, though, because she remembered not to sweat the small stuff. “I also tell my buyers not to get caught up in the little things,” Chris says. “They can add the little things later.”

She still eyes the island in the kitchen and thinks about the extra inches she would like to add to it.

“It’s never going to be perfect, so decide what you really want. For me, that was the kitchen,” says Chris. “If you’re going to take a risk, take it on the inside. It’s cheaper to paint the inside of the house.”

HOME-Family-Room-1A house is constructed with natural materials such as wood and granite, she says, but it really comes together for families once they put their own décor in the rooms.

“It’s a house. You make it a home,” says Chris. “It’s going to be bumpy. Things are going to go wrong. It’s always a work in progress.”

By Sarah James


Fettuccini with Clams, Mussels & Shrimp

  • Clam-recipe1 (13.75-ounce) box fettuccine
  • Dash of olive oil
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 pound clams, scrubbed
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup cream or half and half


Cook fettuccine according to package directions; drain and lightly toss with a dash of olive oil to prevent noodles from sticking together; set aside. Dissolve bouillon cubes in chicken broth and set aside. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add garlic and most of the green onion (save a little for garnish) and cook 3-5 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add clams and mussels; cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Add white wine and bouillon cubes with chicken broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to a rolling simmer. Add shrimp, cover and cook 3-5 more minutes or until the clams have opened and shrimp is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Stir in remaining tablespoon of butter and the cream. Add cooked fettuccine and toss to combine. Remove to plates and garnish with remaining green onion.

Calling Post

Community Groups in Action
Calling Post

Jian Miller had severe scoliosis and needed surgery to correct broken rods in his back. He was adopted by Chris Miller, pastor of Genesis Church, and his wife, Heidi. The ministry contributed funding to help the Millers bring Jian home.

Adopting a child can be an emotional, costly and stressful process for any family – especially when parents seek to bring home hard-to-adopt children. However, the experience becomes more manageable when Connected Hearts Ministry gets involved.

Founded by Misty and Brandon Hudson, the North Augusta-based ministry focuses on finding forever homes for children that often are overlooked for adoption. They include children older than age 5, sibling groups and children with special needs. 

The Hudsons adopted their 11-year-old daughter, Maya, from China three years ago. “When we went through the adoption process ourselves internationally, we saw how expensive it is to adopt,” says Brandon.

Lilli Reesor has a rare, complex medical condition that has required several surgeries.

Lilli Reesor has a rare, complex medical condition that has required several surgeries.

Since the Christian nonprofit organization was founded by the couple four years ago, it has provided families with more than $300,000 in adoption or medical funding for 40 children in the United States, India, China, Latvia, Bulgaria and Africa. Children that have found forever homes through the ministry include those with birth defects and medical conditions ranging from brain cancer to hearing impairments. 

Families must work through an accredited adoption agency to receive assistance from the ministry, which offers four programs – advocacy, family sponsorship, medical sponsorship and foster care.

Oliver Williams required three surgeries to repair his colon and lower spine, which were malformed because of a rare birth defect. Through its medical sponsorship program, Connected Hearts Ministry has provided funding to help pay for these children’s medical procedures.

Oliver Williams required three surgeries to repair his colon and lower spine, which were malformed because of a rare birth defect. Through its medical sponsorship program, Connected Hearts Ministry has provided funding to help pay for these children’s medical procedures.

To fulfill its mission, the nonprofit relies on help from individuals and on partnerships with businesses and churches. Some local partners include Hargrove Inspection Services and Hargrove Pest Solutions in Evans, Genesis Church in Martinez and Therapeutic Interventions of Georgia in Augusta. Last year the ministry also partnered with In Focus Church, First Baptist Church of Augusta and a MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) group to fill more than 160 duffel bags with essential and personal items for children entering foster care in Columbia, Richmond and Aiken counties.

“A lot of the children we’ve been able to help come from dire situations,” says Misty. “We’ve been so blessed by the local community, and we’re blessed to see these children lead fulfilling lives.” 

For more information, visit

He’s Got Game


1-opening-photoA former Greenbrier High School golfer captures two of the Georgia State Golf Association’s biggest prizes in 2016.

Columbia County native Chris Waters, a certified public accountant for KPMG, has no plans to quit his day job. Traveling frequently, he might be in San Antonio one day. The next week he might be off to Philadelphia. His golf talents sometimes take him on the road as well, and he has the goods to show for his efforts.

The scratch golfer is about to add a new trophy to his growing collection by earning the 2016 Georgia State Golf Association Men’s Player of the Year honors. Waters, 29, will receive his GSGA award at a luncheon at Cherokee Town & Country Club in Atlanta on Saturday, January 21. He also picked up another impressive piece of hardware in September when he won the 2016 Georgia Public Links Championship.

“There’s a lot of tough competition, but I’m proud of my accomplishments and that I can compete with college golfers and people that play golf every day,” says Waters. “To be able to compete with them and hold down a job means a lot.” 

2-2016-georgia-amateur-championship-capital-city-club-brookhaven-courseTop of the Leaderboard
The Player of the Year is determined by a point system based on participation and finish in GSGA and United States Golf Association events throughout the year, and Waters stayed near the top of the leaderboard in every event he entered.

In addition to winning the Georgia Public Links tournament, Waters and his playing partner, William Mitchell, were runners up in the Four-Ball Championship in April. He was a semifinalist in the Atlanta Amateur Match Play Championship in October, and he finished T5 in the Mid-Amateur Championship at Augusta Country Club in May and in the Georgia Amateur Championship in July. Waters, who lives in Atlanta, did not play in any of the USGA events last year.

In the Public Links Championship, Waters cruised to a seven-stroke victory that included a bogey-free, six-birdie opening round at Cobblestone Golf Course in Acworth. His 6-under-par first round total of 65 tied three previous golfers for the 18-hole record.

Starting the final round with a five-stroke lead, he shot 1-over-par 72 and finished the 36-hole tournament at 5-under 137.

This was Waters’ second Public Links title in three years. He also won the tournament in 2014 at Nob North Golf Course in Cohutta.

Waters calls himself a steady player with a game in which no particular area stands out. “The younger guys hit it a lot farther than I do, but I manage my game well,” he says. “I stay in the fairway and keep it out of trouble.”

atlanta-amateur-match-play-championship-rivermont-country-club-3Family Affair
Waters enjoys the competition on the golf course, but the game is a family affair for him as well. He took up the sport as a high school student about 15 years ago when he started playing golf with his stepfather.

In addition, his mother, Donna Zapata, has caddied for him at events in various parts of the United States and Canada for the past four or five years.

“It’s a tense game, so I try to be quiet. I usually don’t speak unless I’ve been spoken to,” she says. “I’m there for moral support and quality family time together. It’s a serious competition for him, but I’m along for the memories we’re making.”

Her son agrees. “It’s fun for the two of us to spend time together. I’m usually traveling for work,” he says. “She supports everything I do. She keeps it fun. She keeps it light-hearted.”


Waters with his mother, Donna Zapata, who sometimes caddies for him.

Waters with his mother, Donna Zapata, who sometimes caddies for him.

Waters played golf for Greenbrier High School as a junior and senior. The University of Georgia graduate didn’t play college golf, but he stayed involved in the game during his collegiate years. He worked at the UGA golf course as a student, climbing his way up from cart boy to pro shop manager. He also started playing in GSGA events while he was in college.

“It’s fun to compete. Some of these guys play at the highest level without being a professional,” he says. “It gives me something to work toward, and it keeps my golf game sharp.”

Waters, who is perfectly content to keep his amateur status, only plays golf every couple of months this time of year because his job keeps him busy from January through March.

“Every now and then I play with my buddies, but not very often,” he says.

He plays in eight to 10 tournaments during the summer, and he particularly enjoys playing in Mid-Am events for people ages 25 and older. “Those guys have jobs, too,” he says.

The flexibility of his job in the summer allows him to play a round of tournament golf in the morning and log onto his computer to work remotely in the afternoon.

“I like the competitiveness. There’s always the possibility to improve. That keeps me interested,” says Waters. “One day you play well, but the next day you don’t. You want to get out there and try to fix it.”

By Todd Beck

Photos courtesy of Georgia State Golf Association and Donna Zapata

Souper Bowls


????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Score points with these soup, stew and chowder recipes that aren’t too tough to tackle.

Sirloin Steak Soup

  • 2 pounds boneless beef sirloin steak
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 3 cups carrots, diced
  • 1 (1-pound) bag frozen peas or cut green beans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons steak sauce 

Cut beef into 1/4-inch strips; cut strips into 1-inch pieces. Heat oil in stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook beef in oil 4-5 minutes or until brown. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until meat and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Serves 6.

Robert W. “Bobby” Culpepper


pysk-jan-2017Mayor, City of Harlem

Number of years in position: 9

Family: Wife, Linda Phillips Culpepper; sons, Stacy and Brian and their wives, Cheryl and Melissa; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren 

Why I’m Passionate About What I Do: I love Harlem. I believe it can be a very special city in the future. We have a great sense of community.

Community Groups or Charities I Love to Support: Over the years I have been a member of various organizations including the Jaycees, Lions Club International, Rotary Club, Coalition for Better Government, Harlem Housing Authority and Development Authority of Columbia County

Biggest Career or Life Obstacle I’ve Overcome and How: In addition to serving as mayor of Harlem, I also am a Realtor at DeFoor Realty in Harlem. I continue to work to convince myselt that, as unworthy as I am, God loves me.

Accomplishment I’m Most Proud Of: I am proud of the reputation we had after running Culpepper Ford for 44 years. And I am proud of my sons. They are good men. They’re grounded and kind gentlemen.

Favorite Way to Spend Saturday Afternoon: Working in the yard and gardening with my granchildren 

Favorite TV Show: “NCIS”

Favorite Movie: The next good one 

Favorite Sports Team: University of Georgia Bulldogs 

Favorite Comfort Food: Barbecue chicken and mashed potatoes

Favorite App: Weather Radar 

Last Book Read: Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly 

Dream Vacation: I would like to take a cruise to Australia and New Zealand. They are beautiful places with unique topography and animals. I find the people to be very interesting. I believe I would enjoy being in their company (and I would love to hear them talk). 

Something That Has Changed My Life: My relationship with Jesus

Best Thing I Ever Learned: I have total control of my attitude, and your attitude is everything. 

Secret Aspiration: To love first, rather than to judge

Favorite Hobbies: Gardening

Reality Show I Would Totally Win: No clue. I have never watched a reality show.

Something People Would Be Surprised to Know About Me: My wife says “nothing,” but I enjoy repairing toys, Christmas ornaments, household gadgets, etc. For a time, my grandchildren would say, “Take it to Pops. He can fix anything.” It was wonderful. However, they have outgrown that phase now.

What person do you think we should know? If you’d like to suggest someone we should meet, email and tell us why.